Friday, February 2, 2007


Sri Satagopan, i.e. Sri Nammazhvar is an incarnation of Visvaksena and he is born in the month of Vaikasi, on a Pournami day and his birth star is Viskaha.He was born 43 days after Sri Krishna left the World to Vaikunta after his Avatara.He was born in the year 3102 BCE. Nammazhwar is said to have lamented upon his fate, for, had he born a few days earlier in dwapara yugam then he would have had the bhagyam of seeing
Kannan directly during his manifestation on the Earth as Lord Krishna.

His father’s name is Kaari, a farmer of Thirukkurugur on the banks of Tamraparani river and his mother Udaya nangai is from Thiruvan paricharam in Kerala.

Sri Nammazhvar when he was born did not open his eyes nor his mouth to eat and never cried like other newborn baby. Because he was “very different” from other children, his parents named him as “Maran” meaning “different”. He was also called as Shatakopa.

His parents prayed to Lord Adhinathan, the Perumal of Thirukkurugur and left the child in a cradle under a tamarind tree. It is believed that the tree is an incarnation of Adishesha, the Serpent on which the Lord Narayan is sleeping in Milky Ocean.Nammazhvar stayed in the same state for 16 years. He enjoyed the divine ecstasy of Sri Krishna. He was waiting for a good sishya to do Upadesam.

During that time, in a nearby village called Thirukkolur there was an elderly Brahmin saint called Madhurakavi.He went on a pilgrimage to North India and while he was in Ayodhya, he saw a bright light shining in the far south. He was delighted and followed the light and finally reached where Nammazwar was sitting. Seeing the brilliance of Nammazhvar Madhurakavi prostrated and requested him to accept him as disciple. Although Madhurakavi was very much older than Nammazhvar, he did not hesitate to accept Sri Nammazhvar as his Guru.

'Alwar' in Tamil means 'one who is immersed'. Since these saints were always immersed in the Lord and His qualities, they were called Alwars.

Nammazhvar started reciting divine poems and Madhurakavi wrote them on Palm Leaves. The Four Prabhandhams of Nammazhvar are as follows

1. Thiru Viruththam
2. Thiru aasiriyam
3. Peria Thiruvandhaathi
4. Thiruvaaymozhi

Nammazhwar composed Thiruviruttam, a collection of hundred psalms as the essence of Rig Vedam, Thiruvaashiriyam with seven psalms as the essence of Yajur Vedam, Periya Thiruvandadi with eighty-seven psalms as the essence of Atharvana Vedam and
Thiruvaimozhi with a thousand hundred and two psalms as the essence of Sama Vedam.
Having adorned the garlands of magizhum-poo presented by Paraman, it is not only Azhwar?s thirumeni that has the fragrance of magizhum-poo but also the sri-sooktis
that were worded by him. What a fragrance! Having extolled the divine glories of the Lord, brahma-gandham emanates out of Azhwar while his tongue is luscious with brahma-rasam.

Nammazhvar stayed under the tamarind tree for 32 years, reciting the above Prabhandhams .All his Prabhsnadhams explain the essence of Vedas, and hence called “Tamil Vedam”. Lord Adhi Natha presented Nammazhvar a garland of Vakula flowers from his own neck. So Nammazhvar is also called Vakulabaranan. His other names are Parangusan, Sataari and Kurugai Piran.

Sri Nammazhvar’s Prabhandham brim with devotion, love, bhakthi and poetic excellence. Many Acharyas and Tamil poet Kamban wrote Tamil and Sanskrit poems in praise of Nammazhvar.He is considered to be our first Acharya in Kaliyuga.Later he gave the entire Dhivya Prabhandham to Sri Nathmuni.


Yasya SAraswatham Srotho Vakula Modha Vaasitham
SruteenAm VisramAya Alam SatArim Thum UpAsmahe

Meaning: We meditate on Satari (Nammalwar) for having blessed us with such
glorious compositions which are like flood of nectar with fragrance of vakula
flowers and do the job of VedAs in giving benefit to everyone, well enough for
the veDas to take rest.

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